You Can't Polish A Turd

ABOUT George Fripley

George Fripley
I have worked in government, the mining industry, as a private consultant and at a university, and am therefore well-versed in the arts of general and advanced bureaucracy and spends my spare time dreaming up ways to 'add value' to processes and procedures. I believe that the best way to ' More...



'You Can't Polish A Turd' is a book born of a lifetime - well, it felt like a lifetime - of experience working in and with bureaucracy.

Some might deem it cynical, others not cynical enough, but most will repeatedly nod their heads in profound recognition.

If you are already a bureaucrat, you may find it brings tears to your eyes - both of laughter and despair - and whatever your bureaucratic hue, public or corporate, it is probably the book you will wish you had read years ago, the one which would have saved you from committing all those silly, and sometimes fatal, transgressions against the bureaucratic code which are so easily made if you have pretentions to humanity, decency and indeed activity.

However, if you are only just stepping out onto the winding career path of a convicted bureaucrat, this is an absolute must-read that will guide you unfailingly to the very top of your profession so long as you implement its recommendations precisely and without moral weakness.

All in all, this is a fine companion piece to its corporate equivalents, Terry Farnsworth's 'On The Way Up' or Robert Townsend's 'Up The Organisation' - well, more like Terry's actually because its fundamental tenet is that optimism is futile, but that futility can be both entertaining and highly rewarding.

Comment from Tim Roux, author of 'Missio' and 'The Dance of the Pheasodile': I worked in a large corporation, not in government, but exactly the same rules apply, unfortunately. My ex-boss, on leaving his job, once said he had one regret "having tried to give higher management what it needed rather than simply delivering what it asked for. My life could have been so much simpler." George's book tells you how your life could be so much simpler if you work in any bureaucracy. If you want to do good, if you want to be creative, do all that at home. Don't waste your talents on your employer. He won't appreciate it; indeed he’ll punish you for it.